The Crazy Real-Life Story Of The Satanic Panic

With Sam Smith’s…demonic performance at the 2023   Grammy Awards, all things Satanic  Panic seem to be back in the news.   But this recent trend actually has a long history  that stretches back to the Reagan administration. Satanic Panic was preceded by the  rise of evangelical Christianity that,  

In some opinions, cultivated a paranoid fear  of supernatural evil. This is exemplified by   the “evil empire” speech delivered by  President Ronald Reagan on March 8,   1983. The speech was delivered to the  National Association of Evangelicals,   shortly before Reagan was re-elected to a  second term. Though Reagan was talking about  

The Soviet Union, his use of concepts like good  versus evil spoke to a sea change in Americans’   relationship with religion, especially as many  joined the evangelical Christian movement. “We will never abandon our belief in God.” Because of this change, Reagan courted  the favor of the Moral Majority. The Moral  

Majority was a political action group formed  in 1979 by Baptist minister Jerry Falwell,   Sr. It successfully aligned itself with  conservative values and the political right,   setting the stage for the conservative  Republican politics that are still active in   the U.S. government. After Reagan’s election in  1980, his ties to the Moral Majority continued.

A growing number of Americans were taking part  in conservative Christianity that pushed back   against the more liberal cultural changes of the  1960s and 1970s and new religious practices like   the Church of Satan. Though the Church of  Satan was actually atheism dressed up like  

A carnival sideshow, from the outside it was  terrifying to Bible-believing evangelicals. As the 1980s progressed, it was clear  that mental health services were going   to be a more prominent part of American life.  However, the rise of legitimate psychologists,   psychiatrists, counselors, and other health  professionals was mirrored by the rise of  

Quack practitioners as well. Dubious  therapies like hypnotic regression also   helped to set the stage for a Satanic Panic  based on concepts like “recovered memories.” According to the British Psychological Society,  recovered memories are especially controversial   because they are often difficult to prove.  Additionally, they may be generated whole-cloth  

As patients ruminate on their experiences with  the help of over-eager therapists. Adding to   the confusion was the desire for fame and fortune,  which seemed to push many professionals to ignore   concerns as they gained renown for fighting  back against evil but unseen Satanists.

The proliferation of mandatory reporting laws  and strengthened child protection services over   the course of the latter 20th century is  also tied into the story. Unfortunately,   there’s no doubt that child abuse was a  persistent problem long before the 1980s. But,  

The growing attention towards abuse, paired with  rising concerns about the very soul of the nation,   primed a powder keg. With so many Americans  worried about evil in both its temporal and   supernatural forms, it now seems that  something explosive was bound to happen.

“Michelle Remembers,” published in 1980,  was the first work to claim that Satanic   practitioners were ritually abusing children.  Written by Michelle Smith and psychiatrist   Lawrence Pazder, the book contained lurid  stories of abuse uncovered during Smith’s   therapy sessions. It was during those sessions  that Pazder began to use hypnotic regression.

At first, these were worldly horrors  like purportedly witnessing a murder,   but as the sessions continued, the  recollections took on a paranormal tinge,   with graveyard rituals, consumption of human  remains, and even the Devil himself. At one point,   Michelle claims, occultists installed  horns and a tail into her own body.

“Michelle Remembers” has now been thoroughly  debunked, both because Pazder used unproven   methods and because no corroborating evidence  was uncovered. For those who believed that   well-organized Satanists were wreaking  havoc in the world, this was a stark,   terrifying confirmation. For others, it was  a graphic, compelling story that took hold of  

Their imaginations and made the changing world  all the more terrifying. For Smith and Pazder,   it was the ticket to a highly public and  lucrative career as speakers and consultants. “The book’s already a big bestseller!” “Did you realize that?” Though the writers of “Michelle Remembers” claimed  that a well-organized Satanic cult was operating  

In Canada, it wasn’t long before the Satanic Panic  hit the U.S. In California, the McMartin preschool   case proved to be one of the most expensive and  traumatic legal affairs to stem from the panic. It began with a call made in August 1983.  Judy Johnson, whose son went to the McMartin  

Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, told  the police that her son had been abused by a   teacher. In a letter, she also said that her  son witnessed the teacher, Raymond Buckey,   flying through the air. His mother and school  administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey supposedly  

Took Johnson’s son to an armory where a “goatman”  was present in a “ritual-type atmosphere.” “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” During the investigation, police sent a  letter to the parents that graphically   referred to “possible criminal  acts” and named Raymond Buckey.  

This set off a panic. When interviewed, most  children at first denied that anything happened   but questionable interview techniques  pushed them to make lurid confessions. The court case that followed dragged  on for years and cost $15 million. It   fizzled into nothing after investigators found  no evidence to support the claims. Eventually,  

Judy Johnson’s initial testimony was  brought into question. After her death,   it was revealed that she had been  diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Many of the children interviewed for the McMartin  preschool investigation spoke with Kee MacFarlane.   MacFarlane and her team, none of whom were  licensed, spoke to hundreds of children.

MacFarlane employed controversial techniques. One  assistant told children that others had already   divulged their “yucky secrets” in an effort  to defeat the teachers who were “sick in the   head.” The investigator even directly asked at  least one girl if “Mr. Ray” did the touching.  

When the girl denied this, the investigator  repeatedly asked how Mr. Ray “would have”   touched someone until the girl pointed to an  anatomically correct doll’s private parts. Could young children, who spoke of  secret tunnels beneath the school,   goatmen, and flying teachers, be trusted  when investigators like MacFarlane goaded  

Them on? In at least one exchange, quoted  by The New York Times, she told a child, “You’re just a scaredy cat.  How come you won’t tell me?” These and other dubious techniques spread  throughout the Satanic Panic. Investigators,   some of whom helped to imprison  accused people for years,  

Relied on unproven techniques like  the analysis of children’s drawings,   how they played with toys, and interviews  packed full of leading questions. As the panic grew, police departments began to  train officers for what seemed to be a rising   tide of Satanism. At least, that’s what people  like Kee MacFarlane believed. MacFarlane, the  

Unlicensed investigator who worked on the McMartin  preschool case, told California legislators that, “Preschools in this country in some  instances I think we must realize have   become a ruse of larger unthinkable  networks of crimes against children.” Police training for the Satanic Panic has  come into question. The training taught  

Police investigators to treat everything  from graffitied pentagrams to heavy metal   music as evidence of occult activity. One  document from the Chicago Police Department,   assembled by a “gang crimes and  ritual abuse specialist” in 1989,   alleged that even the innocuous peace symbol  was really an occultic “Cross of Nero.”

While paranoia grew within police departments,  practically no evidence uncovered a vast,   satanic conspiracy. Yet, people like Lawrence  Pazder, who co-wrote “Michelle Remembers” and   helped to set off the panic, remained in  high demand as a paid “expert” consultant.

As part of the Satanic Panic, people began to  grow wary of the imagery and culture of heavy   metal music. Tipper Gore, wife of then-Senator Al  Gore, helped to form the Parents Music Resource   Center in 1985. The PMRC was founded with  the intent to give parents greater control  

Over children’s access to music with violent  or sexual imagery, including occult themes.   It was tied to the same moral fears that gave  rise to the Satanic Panic. At the same time,   police departments and investigators were told  to be especially wary of metal music, which  

They were told contained hidden occult messages  that led teens along a dark, otherworldly path. “Well I know he and his friends  listened to devil music.” “The night Chicago died?” The paranoia surrounding the  look and sound of metal music   very nearly killed Damien Echols. Along  with Jessie Miskelley and Jason Baldwin,  

Echols was convicted of the 1993 assault  and murder of three boys in West Memphis,   Arkansas. The three young men were eventually  called the “West Memphis Three.” The evidence   linking the trio to the murder was scant and  largely circumstantial. The convictions were  

Based in part on their goth aesthetic and love of  metal music, which investigators linked to occult   elements that were supposedly identified  at the crime scene, but never confirmed. Though Echols was initially sentenced to death,   all three have now been released from prison. The  true killer of the boys has never been identified.

While people grew frantic at the prospect of  satanic groups abusing children, real people   were being convicted on little evidence. Some,  like Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three,   just barely escaped execution. Others  were imprisoned for many years,   only to be released when people questioned the  evidence presented. A few remain in prison today.

Frank and Ileana Fuster were arrested in August  1984. They were charged with committing abuse at   their home daycare in Miami, Florida. Janet Reno,  then serving as the Dade County state attorney,   prosecuted the couple based on child  testimony, a single medical test,  

And Ileana Fuster’s confession. Some argued  that the children were pushed to confess,   much like the minors in the McMartin preschool  case. Furthermore, Ileana eventually recanted,   maintaining her innocence while saying she  simply wanted the ordeal to be over. She   was imprisoned for three years and  then deported to Honduras in 1989.

A 1990 made-for-TV movie, “Unspeakable Acts,”  may have influenced public perception of the   case. Frank is still in prison today. Though the  evidence presented at the Fuster’s investigation   and trial was shaky, the truth remains that  Frank had prior convictions. This points to the  

Distinct possibility that some children, both  in the Fuster case and beyond, may be genuine   abuse victims whose stories are overshadowed  by claims of conspiracies and the supernatural. Though the U.S. seemed to be the heart of  a mysterious network of Satanic abusers,  

The panic spread outwards into other countries.  In 1992, it struck Martensville, Saskatchewan. A   local daycare was targeted after children claimed  to have been abused by the people working there.   Some claimed to have been taken to a blue shed  outside of town, which they called the “Devil  

Church.” It was there that they were supposedly  trapped in cages and made to participate in blood   rituals. The accusations went to trial  in 1993, but further scrutiny brought   police investigation techniques into question.  Though some of the accused were convicted, the  

Vast majority of their sentences were overturned  after authorities failed to produce any evidence. In 1997, Italy experienced its own Satanic Panic  with the “Devils of Lower Modena.” After a local   parent referred her child to a psychologist to  counter possible abuse, it spun into a widespread  

And paranoid investigation. Children claimed  that they were made to participate in murders,   blasphemies, and gory nighttime rituals held in  cemeteries. Sixteen children were removed from   their families and six people were convicted.  As in so many other cases of Satanic Panic,  

No one ever uncovered proof that satanic  ritual abuse or murder had taken place. Media outlets began to grow skeptical of the  moral panic beginning in the late 1980s. In 1992,   the U.S. Department of Justice published a study  written by Special Agent Kenneth Lanning that  

Debunked the whole affair. Lanning, who was a  consultant on hundreds of Satanic Panic cases,   criticized the mutable definitions  of Satanism used by law enforcement   agencies. He also noted that some of the  alarming symbols used by “Satanists” were   ultimately innocuous things like heavy  metal music and role-playing games.

By 1995, a television film  produced by HBO, “Indictment:   The McMartin Trial,” marked the  growing disbelief surrounding the   specter of satanic ritual abuse.  The movie portrayed Ray Buckey,   the accused man at the center of the McMartin  preschool trial, as a victim of moral panic.

That doesn’t mean the Satanic Panic was  entirely over. A training film called the   “Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults” was  produced in 1994. Cases bearing the marks of   the panic are still in the court system. The  “Devils of Lower Modena” case that supposedly  

Centered on satanic ritual abuse in Italy was  still being argued in court as recently as 2019. Though it’s now largely derided by mental health  professionals, belief in ritual abuse committed   by a highly organized and efficient underground  group of devil worshippers is still out there. One  

Therapist practicing in Salt Lake City, Barbara  Snow, was put on probation for reportedly planting   memories of satanic ritual abuse in her patients.  Snow, who is still a practicing therapist,   at one time treated Teal Swan, a controversial  spiritual leader. Swan maintained that she had  

Been the victim of Satanists. The investigation  on her behalf stalled when Snow came under fire.

#Crazy #RealLife #Story #Satanic #Panic

The Satanic Panic was Built on Lies | Satan Wants You | On Docs Podcast

♪ Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams, it’s good to see you guys in person. You were on our show a couple years ago for your last film – Someone Like Me – and now you’re here for Satan Wants You. Really excited to talk to you. Before we get into it,

Let’s just show a clip from the trailer. This is a clip from Satan Wants You. Joining me now from Victoria is Michelle Smith – a one-time victim of abuse by a Satanic cult – and Dr. Lawrence Pazder – the psychiatrist who helped her come to terms with that nightmare.

NEWS ANCHOR: The book is called Michelle Remembers. VALERIE PRINGLE: Michelle Remembers. BOTH: We wrote it together. VALERIE: The first publicized account of such rituals. They would put me in cages, sacrifice animals. VALERIE: Eating feces, and orgies, and dismembering fetuses, these were things that you experienced? MICHELLE SMITH: That’s right.

INTERVIEWER: Who are these people? Well, they’re a secret organization, they’re a secret society. Satan. When that book came out, I mean, all hell broke loose. It was a theory that there’s a Satanic conspiracy, and there are children who were kidnapped, stolen, and sacrificed. MAN: It’s known as “The Satanic Panic”

From the 1980s and ’90s. (Sighing) Sean and Steve, hoo-ah! That’s just a little bit of the documentary, but, in the trailer, it mentioned a book called Michelle Remembers. Can you tell us about that book, Michelle Remembers, Sean? Yeah, I mean, I grew up in Victoria,

So, Michelle Remembers is by two authors from Victoria. It is set in Victoria. For me, I mean, my family moved there right after the book was published, while the Satanic Panic was unfolding, and, they were everywhere, Michelle and Larry. They were on TV. They were on the radio. They were in the newspapers.

It was this story that everyone knew about in Victoria, and, like, layer, upon layer, upon layer, of it too, right? Like, stores downtown had Satanic altars in the back, and you had to look out for these people in black, and “Don’t go to the cemetery at night.”

What was it like to grow up in that environment as a kid? Scary. Right? And this, I mean, for me too, the thing about this is, like… you know, it’s how many? Forty years later? So it’s like you forget about all of this stuff until this came back into our life.

And I had no idea, as a kid. Like, you sorta– you’re like, “Oh, yeah, they’re connected to the Satanic Panic.” But I had no idea that the story touched millions and millions of people around the world. Sean, could you just tell us a little bit about who Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder were?

Michelle Smith was a young woman in Victoria, in the ’70s, who started seeing her psychiatrist – Dr. Lawrence Pazder, who everyone refers to as “Larry” – when she had a bad dream after a miscarriage, and this is sorta like the genesis for this book. They go into therapy. They–

And it goes from, like, you know, once a week to every day for eight hours at a time. And then, as they start going deeper and deeper into therapy, more and more memories start– are being recovered from Michelle about this terrible abuse she suffered at the hands of a Satanic cult

When she was five years old, in Victoria, BC. NAM: And Larry actually recorded those sessions. He recorded them. There’s actually video, as well, which, apparently, was burnt, but we got one of the tapes anonymously. One of the therapy tapes that no one has ever heard is in the film.

NAM: Wow. There was video?! STEVE: He recorded everything. He was, like– like, he– He wanted to be famous, didn’t he? One hundred percent. Didn’t he learn anything from Nixon? Like… Don’t– don’t leave– don’t– I mean, don’t, like, tell on yourself like that, man. He wanted to be famous, though. Like, he wanted to be known. Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. Steve, for people who may not remember this, the Satanic Panic, it was in the ’80s and ’90s.

What exactly happened? What was it about? It was a lot of just, like, wild accusations of people who were, basically, like, taking children and sacrificing them. That was, like, the main thorough thread of what the Satanic Panic was. Many people were definitely accused of it. It happened through daycare centres, anywhere where people really had, like,

Contact with children is where you seemed to see a lot of these cases begin to erupt. And, like, a lot of the people– I just have to say this too, right, like, if you were at all different in the ’80s, this is something that you could’ve been accused of.

Like, so, I mean, we’re both queer men. So many of the people who went on trial in a lot of these daycare cases were queer, right? Or, a single woman in her 20s who wasn’t married. You know, like, these people who were not

Just part of the mainstream culture, and that sort of like, “normal,” let’s just say “American family life,” like you could’ve faced this accusation. How do you defend yourself, right? Yeah, and, Steve, you know when Colin asked you that question, you kind of laughed, and I think you laughed because it’s–

When we hear “Satanic Panic” now, in the framework of, like, 2023, it’s kind of like, “That’s ridiculous.” But when we watch the documentary– and like you mentioned, people’s lives were impacted to the point where people ended up in jail, losing their jobs, losing their livelihood.

So, looking at it from, like, a 2023 viewpoint, how did people not know that this was kind of like, “We needed to ask more questions”? STEVE: I think the questions were being asked. I think you had media that was perpetuating what was, like, thought to be happening.

Valerie Pringle, who was like one of, like, Canada’s– NAM: A very serious journalist. Right? She’s on air asking Michelle if she was eating feces. Like, it was very– and, like, it was like, the noon newscast. Like, it was very– like, it was all over the place, and, it just–

I don’t know. Like, you had law enforcement who were participating. You just had all these authority figures within our society that were saying, “This is happening. This is true.” And so, everybody just– how can– how can you deny that, right? I think police officers who were specifically, like–

Like, that was “their beat” in a way. Like, they were occult specialists, which, it just sounds kind of wild to think about it now, but that’s what they were actually assigned to do, right? It’s like an X-Files episode. (Laughing) Mm-hmm, cops for Christ. Yeah, exactly. Cops for Christ.

Can you talk about what their families were going through while they were on tour with this book? You know, I mean, this is like, for us, you know, there’s several ways to approach a doc, right? So, like, we started with the book. That’s sort of where you start,

And then you expand out from that to sort of talk to all the other people who are around that. And when we started reaching out to the family, and also doing our research and realizing that, you know, we can’t find any interviews with a single family member,

Who, at that time, came out and said, “No, this– you know, this is my version of this “and it’s not correct at all.” So, for us it’s, like, reaching out to Larry’s first ex– first wife, ex-wife, his daughter, Michelle’s sister, Michelle’s best friend. This was a, like, new territory,

A brand new territory for a doc, which is so exciting. And also, like, it was so important for us knowing how big this book was, and how far it spread, and how much media it gained for 15 years, 20 years, and people still talk about it today, to have these family members

And get that story, and create a platform for them to actually be like, “This is the truth.” Well, Blanche Barton says it, right, in the doc, when she’s talking about the talk shows and the people that come on, and it’s all the people who are victims. And, she just says, like,

“Why didn’t they bring out the family members? “Why didn’t the family members ever come on stage and actually say, like, hold them to account?” ‘Cause it would make for bad TV. However, it makes for a great documentary, so… And were they excited to finally talk to you, to someone about this? Oh, yeah. I mean, when we– you know, I was a little nervous, too, doing this, knowing that there is a lot of trauma to this film as well, right? For them, for the other victims of the Satanic Panic.

It’s like, you laugh ’cause it’s, you know, Satanic Panic, but there’s also a real serious side to this. And when we called Larry’s ex-wife, Marylyn, for the first time, I mean, that was nerve-racking. And the funny thing is, like, just said, “Hey, listen, we’re gonna do–”

“we wanna do a film and we wanted to talk to you.” (Snapping fingers) Hour-long. It was like 40 years hadn’t passed at all. She had all the stories and just really wanted to talk to us. NAM: Well, how did you approach that? Because you mentioned that people hadn’t spoken to them.

So, like, Steve, when you call them up, what do you say to them to say– to get them to trust you? You know, you mentioned it’s very traumatic. How do you get them to open up and trust the process that you’re trying to do? I think with a lot of the people

That actually participated in the doc, we contacted, of course, like, other people that were close family members, and it’s just kind of you’re testing the waters, right? You’re seeing who wants to talk, who feels like they have something to say. And like with Marylyn, she’s helped, like, multiple investigators.

She’s kept binders full of just everything, like newspaper articles, anything to do with her divorce. NAM: She recorded one of the bishops, I think. STEVE: She recorded everything. She was like– She was savvy. She was really good. Like spy thriller, right? And so, really,

It was just like the path of least resistance for us, and who felt like they wanted to stand up on the stage and do it, and that’s kind of like the path that we took. Also helped that I was from Victoria for a lot of–

’cause, I mean, a lot of the story is set there, and especially for the family, it’s a shared experience that at least I have some understanding. You know, not at all to the level that they went through, but at least what the city’s like and what actually happened there. Were you kinda surprised

That this started in Victoria, in Canada? I mean, this went on to become very influential, especially in the United States. NAM: They even met the Pope. Well, yeah, and they met the Pope exactly. I mean… (Laughing) This all started in Victoria, BC. Yes, I was surprised. Victoria’s so snoozy. It’s not that kinda city, you guys. It’s not that kinda city, so… COLIN: I guess ’cause I don’t really think– I don’t know. I guess we don’t associate Canadians with ever having that kind of, like, influence on the global stage like that, except for maybe hockey, but–

You know, I mean, one of the claims in Michelle Remembers, of course, is that Victoria was one of the Satanic capitals of the world, right? Victoria, and Geneva, Switzerland, and that was– for a time in the ’80s, that’s what some people thought, so…

And so, it just– doesn’t that kind of make it so, you know, like, people are like, “Victoria is the capital of Satanism?” And it’s like, it just makes it, like, that much more believable because it’s just not believable at all. Like, you know? It felt like that kinda had a play happening.

I appreciated the fact that you, um, let the viewer kind of make up their mind on what’s happening. Who would you say whose fault it was, ultimately, this happened? That’s tricky. COLIN: Satan, obviously. Right? COLIN: I mean, those are the traits of the Devil, right? I mean, greed, influence, power. I think that there was so many different, like, social changes that were happening at the time. Um, like, religion was much more popular. It was much more through the culture. And they had a book that just dropped at the right time, and it kinda just, it clicked.

So, trying to place blame on people, I find it really tricky, because– It’s also hard though, ’cause it’s almost like everyone’s responsible. I mean, it’s like, A, the two authors, plus the institutions, plus the Church, plus the media for participating, plus people who didn’t speak up and say, “You know…”

For me, in our film, one of the takeaways is that moment when the Wiccan police detective Charles Ennis finally says, you know, like, “We, basically, all have a responsibility “to stand up and say ‘This is a lie.’ “And even if it– you know, can’t just say it once,

“you have to say it over, and over, and over again “until, you know, everyone realizes it is a lie.” But nobody realizes it. I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful. COLIN: Do any of the people, though, who were kinda, like, promoting this idea of Satan, like, Satanic ritual abuse,

Like the journalists at the time, like the media figures– like, you know, Maury Povich was around, was popular at this time, Geraldo, Oprah. I mean, I don’t know. Do any of them– have any of them ever come out and said, “Yeah, we messed up here. “This was not, like, credible at all

“and we shoulda done a better job”? Geraldo did give an apology, so I mean, he– you’ll see in the film, there’s– he did one very notorious show that influenced, you know, according to the sociologists– NAM: It was like a three-parter, right? Yeah, that the sociologist that we spoke to said,

“You know, this spread this, “you know, from just being sort of a rumour “into 12 million households, “or 40 million households in the US suddenly were like, “‘Oh, my God. There’s Satanists everywhere.'” Like, he played a big role in that, but he did apologize in the ’90s, which is something.

I mean, ’cause people were really hurt by this. You mentioned daycare. There was a woman by the name of Margaret Kelly Michaels. What happened to her? Oy. (Sighing) Again, she was working in a school, um, with young children, and a parent had accused her, right? SEAN: Mm-hmm.

And it went on to be a super long trial. She went to prison for five years. She was accused of heinous stuff and, like, basically, she was tarred and feathered. She’s had to carry that around with her for the rest of her life, and her life has kind of been ruined by it.

Like, it’s– these types of accusations, like, when people are calling other people, or accusing them of being pedophiles, um, it really– like, it ruins your reputation and it can ruin your life, and Kelly Michaels definitely has felt that. And we should say, I mean, these cases are still being brought to justice,

These false accusations. The film premiered at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and there’s a case literally right now that is unfolding for a man who has been– you know, this is like 30 or 40 years of his life, and they’re saying, “No, this is not true now.”

Right? Like, it’s not just something from the distant past either, right? These people are still alive. There’s still people in prison. And, furthermore, you know, it’s easy to be like, “Oh, this is just the ’80s and ’90s.” This is happening right now. NAM: In what ways? Through QAnon and Pizzagate,

So that’s sort of the most recent iteration. The Satanic cult conspiracies now involving political figures and Hollywood actors drinking the blood of children to get adrenochrome, or whatever the magical chemical is, right, in the basements of pizzerias and all that stuff in the US.

And for us, I mean, this film, just this past week, there was an article, I think in The Epoch Times. Did I say that right? I don’t think I did. NAM: I think so, yeah. Yeah, did I? NAM: ‘E-P-O-C-H’, yeah, yeah. That basically there’s a Satanic ritual abuse survivor

Talking and saying– referencing our film and saying, “No, I’m actually a victim of Satanic ritual abuse.” And this is 2023, right? So, it is kind of scary. Like, this is something– I was looking for therapists– (Clearing throat) excuse me– last week, and I found a woman, downtown Vancouver,

And one of the things that she treated was ritual abuse. I was like– like, people are still– they’re still treating this. Like, it’s still, like– it’s still within society right now. Like, it is wild. You know, we’re repeating the mistakes of the past now, because a lot of people believe QAnon and Pizzagate.

People have been actually harmed by these theories. I mean, for us, this is another, like, layer to this film. I mean, what does it mean to be human? And why do we believe in things even when there’s no basis, or concrete evidence, or no basis in reality, right?

And this whole thing about storytelling constructing reality is definitely an element to this story, too, and all the different ways storytelling works, right? Like, you share information with a story, you educate somebody. But, you know, if you don’t like somebody, you can also make up a story to ruin their life and their–

You know, like, storytelling is great, it’s terrible, it’s part of being human. Mm-hmm. It truly– like when we can’t explain the things around us that are happening in our life, the easiest thing to fall back on is, a lot of the time, Satan, right? So, it’s just part of who we are.

The big thing that we saw was, like, it happened once, it’s happening again, and it’s probably gonna happen in the future. You mention, though, that, you know, I guess the first Satanic Panic of the ’80s and ’90s, when that was going on, there was a lot of social changes happening.

I think it was more visibility about LGBTQ folks, for example, and I think even now, we’re seeing, you know, more visibility of, like, trans individuals, and LGBTQ folks are also, you know, getting more acceptance, right, and I wonder if that’s playing a role. Just that, you know, the more–

The more we’re seeing changes to, like, gender, ideas around gender and race, if that’s somewhat, maybe, having a role in getting people to go down these kind of dark paths, like QAnon and that sort of thing. Well, definitely. I mean, typically, those are the people who have the devil in them, right?

Right, yeah. You know? And I think technology, too, is also another factor in this, right? Like, daytime TV, talk TV, was the thing in the ’80s and ’90s that spread this everywhere. You know, Facebook, Twitter, social media did it for QAnon and Pizzagate.

And Steve and I always talk now that where AI is, you know? We’re right at the cusp of it. Like, “What is gonna happen?” Comin’ in hot. We were just watching a video, actually, before we started, of an AI-created political commercial. And it looks real, like a hundred percent real.

STEVE: For the Republican Party? Yes. Oh, you knew exactly what I was talking about. Crazy, right? Yeah, yeah, it’s scary. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you mention– like, when I was watching the documentary, ’cause we’re talking about Satan, there’s an actual Church of Satan. What is that?

‘Cause I didn’t know what it was until I watched the documentary. The Church of Satan is– like when they try to distill it down, it’s basically, instead of following these rules, like in Christianity, of the things you’re supposed to be, they just celebrate humans as a whole. So, we have greed,

We have all of these kind of things that are considered negative parts of our lives, but the Church of Satan looks at humans as a whole person, as a whole thing, and that’s– they wanna celebrate that. Yeah, and what I love is– So, we have a former high priestess

Of the Church of Satan, Blanche Barton, as one of the participants in the film, and she says, you know, basically, “Satanism is not a tolerance of your differences. “It’s a celebration of differences,” right? It’s like, “We celebrate how different everyone is.” And I thought that was such a, like,

“Oh, who doesn’t wanna be part of that?” And it’s a complete opposite of what we’ve come to know as Satan. Mm-hmm. NAM: Right? And I thought it was really interesting that insurance companies played a role in Michelle Remembers. Do you wanna go down that– like, can you explain to us how that happened?

Because I was like, “Of course.” (Laughing) SEAN: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Money’s involved. Yeah, I mean, it’s an interesting thing. Like, both in Canada, the US, the UK, this happened, right? So, it’s like, you know, especially in Canada and the UK where there is public– what’s the word I’m looking for? Healthcare, obviously,

Where doctors are billing, like, the government. In the US, it’s different, too. But these doctors are billing and they’re bringing you in for, like, seven sessions a week, for hours, or maybe eight hours a day, and billing for it, and then the insurance companies are on the hook for it, right?

STEVE: And they were talking like millions of dollars, like, over the course of a year. And so, they kind of look at it and they’re like, “Wow, I have one of these patients. “Now, I can bring in their family members.” And all of a sudden, they’re making, like, five million dollars a year,

And so, it really turns into a scam. And this had to do with the therapists that were talking to people who were having these memories that these awful things had happened to them as part of the Satanic Panic. Yeah, I mean, here in Canada, we should say too, like, so you know, Victoria,

Michelle Remembers, that’s one thing. There was a case– like, cases in Southern Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and a really big one in Saskatchewan. It’s not just a US thing. This happened here, too, all at the same time as the US, the UK, Europe, Italy, Brazil, like, it’s Australia, New Zealand.

This was a worldwide thing. And Larry, I mean, we found one newspaper article. He consulted, it said, close to a thousand cases. A thousand of these cases. That’s a lot of money. And it really seeped into popular culture, right? Because I think, you know, Dungeons and Dragons– NAM: Music.

COLIN: Yeah, music, heavy metal. I remember an X-Files episode referencing the Satanic Panic. I mean, how– this was really widespread. Like, it really affected the public imagination in a lot of ways, didn’t it? Mm-hmm. I mean, I think it was hard not to. You hear these wild things

And your mind can just go wild with it, right? You can think of anything and it just– it really seeped into all parts of culture at the time. Like, religious horror was gigantic at the time. It’s funny because, in the book, you can actually see references to, like, The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby.

Like, somebody’s head’s spinnin’ around. Oh, yeah, you know, halfway through Michelle Remembers, there’s a woman who comes to one of the Satanic rituals and her head spins, like, it’s– Right. STEVE: Yeah. What’s funny about that book is the cover looks so much like a Stephen King novel. Right? Like Misery.

Yeah. Yeah, any, like Pet Sematary, one of those. Yeah. I think something that struck me is that people were believing this, like, Satanic ritual abuse is happening. You know, millions of children are being abducted, but, at the same time, you know, we learned in,

I guess, the early aughts, that the Catholic Church has been– you know, there’s a huge sex abuse scandal with children and priests and they’re covering it up. Women, for years, were not believed if they came forward with sexual assault, but people would believe in Satanism. Like, it’s just– it’s ironic, right?

Like, why do we go to this extreme thing and not the most logical thing? It’s weird. I mean, we’ve talked about that a lot, right? Like, it was– like, they were basically pointing their fingers saying, like, “Look over there. Look over there.”

While it was actually the Church that was doing all the things that they said that everybody else was doing. Like, it was, like, really crazy when you actually, like, look at it from that. It’s interesting. I mean, in Austin, at South By Southwest, we had an Indigenous journalist actually in the audience

For our world premiere, and it was the final question of the night, and he just started, you know, talking about residential schools and the Catholic Church, and that was a connection that we hadn’t made. But this was literally the Catholic Church stealing children and abusing them, and then neglecting them

To the point of death, right? Like, this is what the Satanists were accused of, but it was happening… For sure. …within the Church. It was just– yeah. NAM: Well, since we talked about that– we mentioned that Michelle and Larry– was he a psychiatrist or a psychologist? A psychiatrist. Psychiatrist.

They actually met the Pope. What was in it for the Church to be a part of this book, and this, what was happening with Michelle Remembers? I mean, it just got more people into the pews, right? And one of the priests, you know, thought he was gonna make a million dollars, you know? Like, they saw this as actual, like a best-seller like Jaws, right? Their editor in New York actually was the editor for Jaws. So, it’s like, all you see, you dig into this–

And that wasn’t in the movie, but it was just there’s so many layers to this story that you can’t even fit it into 90 minutes, you know? That was the main thing. So, many people just came up to us and were like, “Why can’t this be a three-parter

“or four-parter?” They just wanted more. NAM: Yeah, yeah. Well, one of the people, that was– well, Michelle wasn’t part of it. Did you ask her to be a part of it? STEVE: Yeah. And she said? She didn’t wanna participate. We contacted her twice over the course of about six months,

And she didn’t respond to the first email that we sent. And then, six months later, she did respond and she said she doesn’t wanna participate, which I understand. I mean, it’s been– I think it’s a weird part of your life to dive back into and especially if she doesn’t wanna recant, or, like,

You know, if she– What would you have asked her? Oh, God. I would’ve asked her– Like, literally, I just wanted– like this, at least in my head, was to create a space for her to tell her side of the story. Like the last piece of–

The last interview that we could find of them actually talking about this was in 1990. And then, after talking to all the family, from what we understand, Michelle has never said, “No, this is a lie.” or, basically, or “This is true.” So, it’s this grey area where I just would–

You know, if it wasn’t us, maybe there’s somebody else who can do it, but just to get what happened to her, you know? And I’m also really curious about how, you know, when you start something and you end it, from your point of view, as people were telling the story,

What did you learn at the end that you didn’t know going in, when you decided to make this project? For me, I just didn’t understand how widespread it was. I didn’t understand the Satanic Panic. I’m 42, so I, like, grew up through the ’80s, and I just didn’t know.

I didn’t know how many lives it touched. I didn’t know how widespread it was. It was just one of those things that you look at it and you’re like, “Wow, just had no idea.” And it’s, like, not that far away. If there’s one, I guess, like, takeaway

You want people to have from watching this film, what is it? And I’m thinking in the context of like we’ve talked about with QAnon and these kind of, you know, conspiracy theories. I mean, Trump’s still talking about losing the election. People are really, like, still are susceptible to this sort of thinking.

So, I guess– I don’t know. What do you– is there any, like, thing that we can do to, I guess, convince people not to go down these kind of rabbit holes? You know, I personally come from a really cynical, skeptical family. So, like, there’s a couple characters in the film

That I think people can learn a lot from – the FBI agent Ken Lanning, and the investigative journalist Debbie Nathan. I think everyone needs some more skepticism in their lives. Ask people questions. Ask “Why?” Right? And also take the time to think about rumours,

When you hear them, instead of just jumping on the bandwagon and riding off into the sunset, so… It’s really tricky though. There’s so many influences in our lives and I think it’s really hard to kind of navigate through and figure out what’s real and what’s not real.

And I think just as we go into the future, it’s gonna get harder and harder. NAM: Well, it’s a terrific documentary. How I started it is not where I ended, and then I still had a lot more questions. So, yes, maybe another two-parter? But where can people find the documentary? Do you have plans for distribution? We do. We’re gonna be playing Hot Docs. Right now, we’re finishing our festival run through spring, and then we’ll be doing our theatrical run in August. And it’ll be ready for streaming– Available on CBC starting this fall,

With a date to be announced. So, you can look for, like, We have all the dates, if it might be playing at a film festival in your city, or your region, and also on Instagram. If you wanna see all the Satanic stuff, follow us on Instagram. Awesome, Sean and Steve. Congratulations.

Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us today. This was great. BOTH: Thanks for having us. NAM: Thank you. ♪

#Satanic #Panic #Built #Lies #Satan #Docs #Podcast

Are Satan Worshippers Real?

– Hail oh deathless one. Who calls me from out of the pits? – [Voiceover] You can turn back now or learn the stuff they don’t want you to know. Here are the facts. In the 1980’s and 90’s people across the united states were convinced that satan worshippers worked in secret across the country. Stealing children for dark rights. Sacrificing animals and innocents and practicing sorcery.

In what became known as, “The Satanic Panic.” Numerous people alleged that they had been ritually abused during their childhood. They claimed that hypnosis and regression therapy revealed these long suppressed memories. Yet, when authorities investigated they ultimately found no proof to back up the accusations. Today the deluge of reports is considered part of

A moral panic. Like McCarthyism or witch hunts. Many people wondered if actual theistic satan worshippers existed at all. So, are there any real devil worshippers? Here’s where it gets crazy. Yes, though perhaps not the way you’d assume. Before we find devil worshippers we have to define the devil itself.

That’s tougher than it sounds. Afterall, one religion’s god may often be another group’s satan. Consider the Yazidis ethnic group. Often called devil worshippers by the nearby Muslim majority. The Yazidis worship an angel called, “Melek Taus.” Who in their religion refused God’s command to bow to Adam.

This bears great resemblance to stories of Shatam and Muslim lore. But the Yazidis don’t consider Melek Taus an evil deity. A similar disconnect occurs between gnostics and mainstream Christians. There are generally two broad camps in the world of genuine satan worship. Symbolic and theistic. The symbolic satan worshippers

Believe in philosophical aspects of satan as a concept. Or satan as an ideology. The theistic satan worshippers believe in a supernatural entity that can interact with the mortal world. Of these theistic satanists, many follow a Lucifer erratically different from the common Christian depiction.

Not an evil force, so much as a disruptive innovative one. Are there really any theistic satanists who genuinely believe they worship an inferno evil deity? While the tales of massive satanic conspiracies don’t seem to bear any fruit. There have been isolated cases of violent criminal acts

Carried out by people claiming to worship satan. And not just any ancient past either. In 2005, Louisiana pastor Louis Lamonica turned himself into the Livingston detective, Stan Carpenter. Lamonica listed in detail, ritualized child abuse that he and other members of his congregation participated in for a number of years.

This included things like animal sacrifice, ritual masks, and dedication of a child to satan. In 2011, Moises Maraza Espinoza confessed to killing his mother as part of satanic right. And there are a number of other proving crimes involving the use of satanic symbols and purported rituals. However, these crimes are not all representative

Of the satanic community. The majority of which, is law abiding. Despite these cyclical allegations of widespread, large scale of networks of devil worshippers, there simply hasn’t been any solid universally acknowledged proof. Those who believe in the conspiracies say the powerful groups have too much control to be reported.

And they point to other supposedly buried reports of abuse. Such as the infamous Franklin Case. Instead it seems that the only individuals or groups actually doing all of those sterotypical satanic things from Hollywood horror films are isolated and quite possibly, insane. Unless of course, there’s something more to the story.

Something they don’t want you to know. – So here comes satanism. Most of us would like to write off as harmless antics by some lunatic fringe. A few years ago maybe, but not now. We have seen that satanism can be linked to child abuse and murder. It has lead seemingly normal teenagers into monstrous behavior. They preach mysticism.

Other people, however, practice evil. And that is why we brought you this report tonight.

#Satan #Worshippers #Real

What was the Satanic Panic?

– Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, a wave of troubling accusations swept across North America. – New and intense scrutiny on the activities of Satanic cults. – [Reporter] Stories of devil worship and Satanic cults corrupting young minds– – Unbelievable crime at the hands of Satanic cults.

– There were terrifying tales of secret Satanic cults bent on tormenting and corrupting the young. Heavy metal music had hidden Satanic messages. – Possibly Satanic messages on some rock music recordings. – Games like Dungeons and Dragons were luring kids to devil worship, and it got even stranger.

– The allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children at a babysitting service. – The dark world of ritualistic child abuse. – [Reporter] There’s a widely held opinion that what happened at the daycare was the devil’s handiwork. – Underground networks of Satanists were infiltrating daycares and preschools

To physical and sexually abuse children in occult rituals. Much of what fueled the panic was not real, but these claims led to a wave of high-profile criminal trials in the US, Canada, and beyond. The cases often followed a similar pattern, an initial report of physical or sexual abuse at a daycare would snowball, taking on a life of its own. Overzealous interveners, everyone from parents to police to counselors would question children, some as young as two years old, in ways now known to produce false allegations.

Children began to talk about animal sacrifices, blood rituals, secret tunnels, even cannibalism. Police would lay charges, prosecutors would take them to court, and the media would report uncritically on what seemed to be a growing threat. – [Reporter] Authorities searched frantically for evidence of an apparent ritual abuse epidemic across North America.

– Some cases would fall apart at trial or during appeal. Others resulted in wrongful convictions. Many of the accused spent years in prison, while others faced financial ruin and damaged reputations. As it turns out, the Satanic Panic may have its origins in Canada. When asked about the spark that set off the hellfire,

Many experts point to this book, “Michelle Remembers”, published in 1980, written by Canadian Psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder, and his former patient Michelle Smith. The book provided a template for the allegations of Satanic ritual abuse that followed. Pazder claimed he helped Smith recover repressed memories from her early childhood of a terrifying initiation

Into a secret cabal of Satanists operating near Victoria, British Columbia. – They would put me in cages. They would sacrifice animals. They would have a lot of candles, and chanting, and bizarre things I had never seen. – Did people think this was a fantasy? That you made this all up?

It was such hocus pocus that it couldn’t possibly have happened? – Well, I was one of the first to stand up and start to recount these kinds of things to bring it publicly. – There was no evidence or witnesses to Smith’s account, yet Pazder presented the book as a true story.

– The hard evidence is difficult to find, because if a child is sacrificed, that child’s body isn’t gonna be left. If it’s an Orthodox Satanic cult they’re going to burn the body and they’re going to eat it during ceremony so they’ll leave no evidence around.

– “Michelle Remembers” is also one of the first books to suggest that underground Satanic networks were not only real, but were infiltrating communities in and organized effort. Anyone could be a Satanist, your nextdoor neighbor, your dentist, or your daycare provider. It was an idea that stuck with many readers.

– The book is called “Michelle Remembers”. – The book became an overnight sensation, and Pazder and Smith received a lucrative publishing deal, about $1.2 million in today’s dollars. It also established Pazder as a sought-after expert on the burgeoning phenomenon of ritual abuse, a term he coined himself.

There was even talk of a movie deal with Dustin Hoffman playing Pazder. For the McMartin Pre-School trial in Manhattan Beach, California where seven daycare workers were accused of ritually abusing children, Pazder was flown down to be an expert consultant in Satanic cults for the prosecution. In another ritual abuse case in Bakersfield, California,

“Michelle Remembers” was used as training material by social workers who believed they had uncovered an extensive Satanic pedophile ring. Specialists in Satanic ideology were suddenly in high demand as more and more ritual abuse cases went to trial. In Austin, Texas, another self-styled Satanic cult expert was used to secure the convictions

Of daycare owners Dan and Fran Keller, who spent decades in prison before being exonerated. It became increasingly common to see ritual crime training seminars led by psychologists, church groups, and even the police. This is former FBI agent Ken Lanning, who studied the spread of the panic in the ’80s.

– [Ken] All the people network with each other, and they’d all get together and goes to seminars and discussions, and they’d be told, “This is what Satanists do and this is how they do it.” And so all that is planted through the use of these kinds of techniques, hypnosis and other ways,

That cause the spread of this kind of stuff. So many people say, “Well, you can’t identify these cases “unless you’ve been trained to learn about them.” And some of that training becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. – The commercial success of “Michelle Remembers” inspired dozens of copy-cat memoirs, which further amplified the perception

That Satanic ritual abuse was widespread, but there was never any evidence of a Satanic conspiracy. In 1994, a psychologist from the University of California researched over 12,000 accusations of ritual abuse, but found no substantiated reports of organzied Satanic groups who sexually abused children. In later years, as the panic died down,

Pazder tried to distance himself from the claims he made in “Michelle Remembers”. – I’m not there to believe or not believe, I’m there to try and understand what they’re trying to tell me of an experience. Whether that has actually happened to them or that is their way of trying to express

A profound pain that they’ve experienced. – But neither he nor Smith ever publicly renounced the book’s allegations. This strange period of moral hysteria serves as a reminder of what can happen when we abandon the pursuit of facts for a more sensational fiction. The question is have we learned our lesson?

I’m Lisa Bryn Rundle, host of “Uncover Satanic Panic”. You can listen to the series now on the CBC Listen App or wherever you get your podcasts. – Is there a well-organized plot, an insidious design right now to program and influence the minds of our children towards the occult and witchcraft?

#Satanic #Panic

The Head of a Satanic Temple Explains Satanism

We do not sacrifice children. The foundation of Satanism is built upon the self and carrying out the devil’s work. Hail Satan! Hail Satan! Hail Satan! Hail Satan! Hi! My name is Zeke Apollyon and I am the chapter head for the Satanic Temple, London and UK.

I think what attracted me most to Satanism, I think how preposterous a lot of stuff that was coming from people who call themselves Christians. These people are extremists, they’re religious extremists. That use Christianity to kind of further their extremism. Some of these people have blood on their hands, and so

I figured if they could do horrible things in the name of Jesus then I could do wonderful things in the name of Satan. It’s so liberating. It is so liberating. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as in my own skin as I do as a Satanist

Because, I mean part of it is looking at like ugly sides of yourself and being able to sort of reconcile that and looking at ugly sides of humanity. No. No. I don’t want to catch anything and I’m pretty sure other people don’t either.

People get in touch with us and we just have a conversation. A lot of times what people want is community, a lot of people feel like outsiders and so they come to us because they’re looking for people that are accepting. They do not come around anymore. They don’t come around anymore.

They came over one time when we were having a big ritual and they must have seen it on my face or something ’cause I opened the door to come out to get something and they were walking up the path and I was just like, no! And they just turned around and left.

And I haven’t seen them since. We still live in a time when people who are satanists have to live incognito? But I think in terms of misconceptions about Satanists I think people think that we sacrifice babies, that we are engaged in some kind of like underground sex trafficking.

I’ve definitely met some babies that I haven’t really gotten on with very well, but I’ve never actually killed one. There’s a little girl in the window right there. Satanism, it’s been a philosophy or a way of life for people for a very long time.

For me, Satanism is really about not letting myself off the hook. And I believe for me that being a Satanist is about trying to continually advocate for people especially people who aren’t able to advocate for themselves. You could definitely go much worse than to use those things

As your way to kind of move forward. Every day! In fact somebody is probably right now, asking us to put them in touch with the devil. People ask for riches, they ask if we can allow them access to the Illuminati. Some of the weirdest interactions are people who like send us satanic prayers.

People will sometimes ask us to pass on messages to the devil. And I’m like, we’re not the devils answering service. I wish! Satanism is a love affair with the self. Actually, I think one of the things that the Satanic Temple wants to do is actually sponsor an orgy.

We do, but like we would be there as people who would fold the towels and we would make sure that there was enough condoms and lube. And we would provide sex education. A lot of us are trained. Some of us are medics. And what we would do is facilitate

What would be like a safe, consensual, group sex practice for people and it would benefit something. I think it would be great if Satanists went on Love Island. That would be amazing. I totally would. I would turn that party out.

#Satanic #Temple #Explains #Satanism